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My Japanese Coach - Nintendo DS

by Ubisoft
Platform : Nintendo DS
Rated: Everyone
4.4 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews
Metascore: 59 / 100

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  • Explore Japan as you learn Japanese from your own personal teacher, or sensei
  • Compare your pronunciation of the sounds unique to Japanese with native speakers
  • Learn and practice writing Japanese Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji characters using the DS stylus
  • Play 12 different types of mini-games that test your grasp of the structured lessons
  • Built-in dictionary and phrase book with over 12,000 words and hundreds of useful phrases
3 new from $100.00 28 used from $19.48
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Product Description


Thanks to UbiSoft's My Japanese Coach for the Nintendo DS, you can carry a tutor in your pocket that lets you learn a new language in as little as 15 minutes a day. With plenty of entertaining lessons, loads of fun-to-play mini-games, and a host of helpful features, this unique language coach will have you not only speaking like a native in no time, but reading and writing like on as well!

Carry a tutor in your pocket with My Japanese Coach. View larger.
Learn in Fun and Interactive Ways
My Japanese Coach is an installment in the My Coach series from UbiSoft series that teaches the basic pronunciations unique to the Japanese language. This convenient and easy-to-use tutor allows users to compare their pronunciation to that of native speakers via the Nintendo DS's microphone. It also lets you use the DS stylus to practice writing Japanese Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji characters.

My Japanese Coach takes you on a virtual tour of Japan while you're learning the language. Lesson plans take place in a wide array of Japanese locations, from the densest of population centers like Tokyo, to the idyllic Japanese country side. You actually get to explore Japan while you learn new vocabulary as you open each point of interest.

Learn From a Master
Meet Haruka, the in-game digital sensei, or teacher, that exists solely for the purpose of teaching you Japanese. After giving you a small placement-style test, Haruka will get you started working through the various stages of your lessons. Gaining mastery points by playing the various learning games allow you to clear each level. Once you master all the words given in a specific level, you move on to the next level.

As you work your way through over a 1,000 lessons, your language skills are constantly tested and sharpened by various mini games. My Japanese Coach includes 12 types of mini games, ranging from Flash Cards, in which you hear a word and have seconds to choose the correct English translation, to Bridge Builder, where you are required to string words together in the correct order to create a complete sentence. And with mini-games that add a clever twist to classic favorites--like Memory that forces you to match the same words in two different languages--you will be sure to have fun while you learn.

My Japanese Coach also features a built-in dictionary and phrase book that includes over 12,000 words and hundreds of useful everyday phrases.

Meet Haruka, the in-game digital sensei, or teacher. View larger.

Sharpen and test your language skills with mini games. View larger.

Use the DS stylus to practice writing Japanese characters. View larger.

Product Details

  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B001BZ8EX8
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches ; 3.2 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: October 14, 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,171 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Let me start by saying that I have been studying Japanese off and on for many years now. I learned some of the basic words and simple sentence structures as well as to read and write Katakana. However, I've never made a serious attempt to go beyond that, until now.

I have used many computer Japanese learning programs and found all of them to be totally inadequate. I was cautiously optimistic about this DS title, but for under $[...] I decided to give it a try. Wow, I am impressed! The lessons are well structured and introduce around 10 words per lesson (from what I've seen so far), unlike books which want you to remember dozens and dozens of words right from the start. The voice quality is superb and (unlike most other recordings I have heard) does not speak so fast that you can't follow it. I love the feature where you can record your voice and compare it to the native speaker's, including comparing the wave forms. This helps you learn the correct timing and pace when speaking. The games are fun, but you need pretty fast reflexes for the whack-a-mole game unless you set it on easy.

This program does have a few flaws. The stroke order for a few of the kanas is off (stroke order is VERY important in writing Japanese correctly). Also, hiragana is introduced too slowly in my opinion, but this is probably intentional as to not scare off people who have never written in Japenese. That being said, if you are serious about learning Japanese this shouldn't be your only resource anyways. I highly recommend
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I can tell that a lot of people are in the same boat as me. They've been waiting for a DS program that teaches Japanese (with an English-language interface) for so long. They had such high hopes! It has a cute sensei! Whack-a-mole! A thousand lessons! Yeah, lots of romaji... but we can get past that!

Unfortunately, it also has some serious errors in the writing training. Specifically:

Incorrect hiragana: na mo ya yo
Incorrect katakana: e ka chi ne no hi me ya wa wo

In other words, about 15% of the basic kana characters are taught and/or graded wrong in this program. Count 'em, 14 kana have either wrong stroke order, wrong stroke direction, or wrong stroke count. AAAAAGHHHH! How could they?

No, really... seriously, how COULD they? The correct stroke order for kana is in any number of reference books. You could choose from a dozen or more on Amazon. It's not some arcane 18-stroke kanji--we're talking about characters with four, three, two.. even, for pete's sake, ONE stroke. (Katakana "no" should be drawn north-to-south, not the other way.)

The worst thing is, lots of people using this program are going to be brand-new to Japanese and won't even know they're being taught wrong.

Writing Japanese is not like writing English. You can write a "t" with the vertical line first or the cross stroke first, and nobody cares. But Japanese is not like that. Stroke order matters. Ironically, the animated Haruku-sensei harps on that point a lot.

Ya know, I read the reviews that said there were a few problems with stroke order, and I still bought MJC. I figured, what the heck, it's probably just one or two things, they're probably low-usage characters, whatever. Ack, wrong.
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33 Comments 221 of 242 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Do you want to learn how to write several Japanese characters incorrectly? Do you enjoy trying to distinguish difficult grammar from actual typos? Perhaps you like the same 3 or 4 quick recall games in order to teach yourself a complex language? Well then, this is the game for you!

However, if you want correct stroke orders, accurate (and natural) example sentences, and good learning exercises, definitely avoid this game. It was not made by native Japanese designers (or at least educated ones). It is rife with mistakes and shows an inherent misunderstanding of the language in general. As a Japanese-English bilingual, I would highly recommend avoiding this game if you're serious about learning the language.
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Well, it finally came out, and I bought it RIGHT away from my nearest game store. My Japanese coach is for the nintendo DS That helps you to learn Japanese. You learn to read kanji, write in Japanese, listen to Japanese, vocabulary, useful phrases . . . so far it seems to be worth the money I spent on it ($30).

The back of the case says that there are over 1,000 lessons, 1500 phrases, and close to 10,000 words in this game. I'm going to guess that at the moment, I know maybe 500 phrases, 300 kanji, and about 2500 words (and that's all being generous I bet). I could potentially DOUBLE my Japanese knowledge of Japanese if I finish this game, so I'm excited.

Anyways, a quick game review. You start off the game by taking a placement test in Japanese. They ask you 50 questions, usually relating to a vocabulary word, or how to read a certain kana character. If you miss two, then it stops the quiz and calculates your starting level (I scored 50/50 and moved directly to lesson 11.) The lessons are rather simple. It sticks to one type of topic, for example, using the "desu" form. The game gives you a couple of examples, introduces 10 new vocabulary, and then stops halfway thru to ask you if you want to practice what you have learned. This usually is in the form of a quiz/game, which are integral to "leveling up", or unlocking the next lesson. Only after you fill up the mastery gauge of each vocab/phrase/character, will you be able to move on.
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Comment 34 of 40 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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